We just finished our 4th show in a row in Germany… We are about to leave the venue here in Cologne to drive all the way to Glasgow, where our next gig is.
And our shows here in Germany have been completely memorable. The first one was in Munich, a city we had never been to, but that we were told only good things about. And with reason. The venue was located just by the side of a river, of which beach was made of white rocks. With the blue sky and the bright sun reflecting on it, it looked like the area was covered in snow, that peaceful first snow that is always so magic and romantic at the same time. People were hanging out on the river bed, talking, eating, playing, just having a good time. Only a few steps away from the venue, we knew we would already live something very special… We walked randomly into the city, going into whatever direction we felt was most interesting at every street corner we stopped at. And really, Munich is an inspiring city! The people are friendly, smiling, and warmly welcoming! Yes, we could feel it would be a special night! Our assurance grew stronger when we saw Jo and Chris come into the venue. I remember perfectly Miss Isabel coming upstairs into the dressing room, asking me “Is it possible that Chris and Jo are here tonight? Because I am 100% SURE that I have seen them”! I wasn’t sure about it, but knowing the both of them, I simply told her that I wouldn’t be surprised about it at all! I came back downstairs just before the show started, only to be stopped in my walk by someone screaming my name. And then I have seen Vroni, all smiles, her arms wide open, happy to be there and light hearted as ever. She squeezed me in her arms so tight I knew it would be representative of the night! Vroni was there in front of the stage, dancing and dancing and dancing. Somehow, she reminded me of the famous quote “dance like nobody’s watching”. But people were watching. And this is what made it so inspiring… to see her freedom and happiness. It was simply beautiful. And a few steps away, Chris and Jo were watching the show, big-eyed and really attentive to everything that was happening on stage (and offstage, as Alex did go into the crowd as per usual!). The drum ended into the crowd!
And then we drove to Berlin… We were so looking forward to going back to this city that feels like home to us, where people always welcome us like brothers and sisters. Jeff left in the middle of the afternoon for business meetings, and I went and explored the city with Alex, Moose and YB, walking around to wherever our hearts would lead us. Alex discovered a small circus, now closed for the season, in the middle of a park in between tall buildings, a little refuge of fantasy and dreams in the middle of a concrete jungle. And we remembered once more what it is we love so much about Berlin; this city is one where everything is possible. Where logic doesn’t intervene, where it’s not what rules people, but where each and everyone are free to do what they believe in! And the concert was exactly to this image. As soon as the music started, you could see people starting to gather close to the stage (as in between bands, most people go to the bar for a drink, or outside for a smoke). But when the music starts, you know there’s something more than only words and sounds. You know there’s this special and unique communion going on. People head banging, throwing their fists in the air, some of them singing along, others trying to catch the lyrics, but each and everyone of them having a good time, in their own way. At the end of the show, Alex went crowd surfing, jumping from the drum that was on the floor in the crowd, and went all the way to the bar, at the very back of the room, where he was given a beer, that he drank a little still crowd surfing before giving it to someone in the crowd, and then came back on the drum to end the show. Yes, it was that kind of major bang that night!
We finished the night at the merch booth, like we always do, talking with our dear sisters Anke and Marina, amongst others, who both had a 3 hours ride to come and see us, and who both had to wait until 6 in the morning before catching their bus/train back home. But both of them told us they would come no matter how far we are. For them, this communion is unique and important, and they wanted to be able to share the moment with us and everyone else who came tonight. And this is a feeling I can perfectly relate to. Maybe is it because I am not on stage myself, looking from an outsider’s eye, trying to get a different point of view through my camera lenses, trying to catch the essence of that communion going on, trying to catch not a good picture, but a picture that represents a moment in itself…
And a few minutes before their set, the singer from Trail of Dead asked to have a t-shirt from the SFCC. He wanted to wear it on stage, because he just simply fell in love with it, and with its meaning. Alex and him had the chance to talk a lot during the bus rides, about art, about their vision of music, about their mutual passions.
And then was our day in Hamburg. Another city we had never been to but heard only good things about, from our friends and from the guys from “Trail of Dead”, who have often been here before. We arrived pretty late and the day has been a very hectic one, so we didn’t have much time to go wander around the place. I did walk a little, though, and went around what I guessed was a Christmas market. It was too early during the day, and people were only getting their stands ready for the night. Somewhere in between an amusement park, complete with a ferris wheel, a roller coaster and a haunted house, the place was also full of picture booths, and small restaurants with wood walls, lit by candles, decorated in red and green. Christmas is something that feels very far away from me at the moment, but I could feel the vibe of the place. Not because of the different stands, but because of the vibe the people were giving it. It was really family oriented, and you knew everyone would find something for them.
The whole day had a very strange vibe to it, with problems and misunderstandings happening… Nothing major, but still… it’s never something you wish for. So we all felt we were “in between”, waiting for something. Until we got on stage. Your love, your passion and your energy gave us wings. Alex was sick on that day, but you guys made sure to uplift him in a very particular way! And not only him, but the whole band! And to meet with so many of you on that day was like a true Christmas Day for us. Claudia, Stefan, Berit, Janine, Nadine, Tina, Vivienne, and all of the others we met on that night, THANK YOU!
And then came the the 4th and last show of this stretch, the one in Cologne. We played here 7 years ago, on our very first European tour, and even though we stopped a year ago to see the Kölner Dom, we have never been back here to play. We arrived very late in the city, and had no time to go anywhere, even though we had plans to go to the very top of the famous Cathedral! It’s been arrival, load-in, sound check, dinner, and then the doors opened! Already! Germany has been so welcoming for us, and the memories of our time in Cologne, 7 years ago already, are still very close and fresh to our hearts and souls. So it’s with a lot of excitement that the guys got on stage in front a room crowded with people. And believe me, it took me a complete song to go from the stage to the back, take a few pictures (a few, I swear, and come back)! And for those of you who are familiar with the band’s music, especially live, you know that the songs are not exactly known for being short… 😉 People were dancing, head-banging, playing air guitar and air drum… Simply mind blowing! We were blessed to have Tobi who came all the way from the UK (and on his birthday!) and Nina from the Netherlands to be with us on that special night, too! A wonderful night, in every aspect of it!
We just finished our 4th show in a row in Germany… We are about to leave the venue here in Cologne to drive all the way to Glasgow, where our next gig is. Totally uplifted by those 4 days, looking forward to communing with each and every one of you over there as well! It might be over 13 hours of drive (not including the ferry ride), but we sure are looking forward to that ride. With 16 people on the bus, the ride should get a little messy… More pictures to follow, I suppose… 😉